>emotions and economics: real sackings at bmw

>Here is a video (in two parts) of a large group of workers at the BMW Mini factory in Oxford being given one hour’s notice of the termination of their employment in February of this year. The workers don’t like it, understandably, the union leaders get an earful, and management can only say they’re real sorry. This has got to be one of the most interesting examples of what this economy is doing to people. I also find it heart rending and frustrating to watch.

Note: The camera is quiet shaky most likely because the meeting was not to be recorded and the camera had to be hidden, at least until the emotions ran high.

In a sense this video is a bit voyeuristic – we are looking in on people in a personally troubling situation (a kind of tragedy). However, if we pause a moment, we realize we are those people. In the world we live, the economic and political system we’ve inherited, and with the way businesses tend to do business, life is often tenuous for the vast majority of humanity. We all feel the closeness of the precipice, and many have already been tossed off. Although we may never do away with many of the harsh realities of life, it seems we could do much better with our economics than we have been. At least we should be careful when we use phrases like “the current economic conditions” because those conditions are merely the most visible representation of an entire system that has many deep flaws.

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